Achille Lauro

The Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked on October 7, 1985, by four Palestinian terrorists who demanded the release of 50 Palestinian prisoners from Israel. They shot wheelchair passenger Leon Klinghoffer as a demonstration of their determination.

Sinking of the Achille Lauro

After the Egyptian government provided the terrorists with an aircraft, in exchange for the ship and passengers, the United States found out about the murdered man and sent out F-14 fighters to intercept the Egypt Air 737 the terrorists were aboard.

The plane was forced to land in Sicily, where the terrorists were taken into custody, put on trial, and sentenced to prison.

The first hijacker to receive parole in 1991 was Bassam al-Asker who, along with five other hijackers, disappeared while on parole.

It was not until April 15, 2003, that Abu Abbas, mastermind of the attack, was captured in Baghdad, Iraq. All of the other terrorists, who had escaped, remain at large.